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Pendleton highway superintendent pleads not guilty to grand larceny indictment

Pendleton Highway Superintendent Jeffrey R. Stowell, charged in December with using town equipment, employees and 72 tons of paving materials for a home improvement project, was arraigned Thursday in the Niagara County Courthouse. The courtroom was kept off limits to the public because of the Covid-19 outbreak.

First Assistant District Attorney Holly E. Sloma said Stowell pleaded not guilty to an indictment comprising single counts of third- and fourth-degree grand larceny, official misconduct and theft of services, plus three counts of petit larceny.

Sloma said Stowell, 60, allegedly directed town employees to take the material to his house and repair his personal equipment on town time.

Defense attorney George V.C. Muscato said the town claimed the value of the paving material exceeded $12,000, but that included labor, mixing and application costs. According to the indictment, Muscato said, the material's "replacement cost" was only $1,508.40.

County Judge Sara Sheldon released Stowell on his own recognizance pending a May 11 pretrial conference before Judge Mathew J. Murphy III.

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